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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 170-172

Iatrogenic facial nerve palsy "Prevention is better than cure": Analysis of four cases

Department of ENT, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh Kumar
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-29
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-7749.94498

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Iatrogenic facial nerve palsy in mastoid surgery is considered a crime or a taboo in the present scenario of medical science. But one has to accept the fact that every otologist encounters this entity at some point in his/her career. Hence it is of prime importance to be equipped to detect and to manage these cases. The obvious and disfiguring facial deformity it causes makes this a dreaded complication. Our article here discusses our experience in managing four cases of iatrogenic facial palsy. The etiology in all the cases was mastoidectomy for cholesteatoma. The detection of the site and repair was performed by the same surgeon in all cases. The facial nerve was transected completely in three cases, and in one case there was partial loss (>50%) of fibers. Cable nerve grafting was utilized in three patients. There was grade 4 improvement in three patients who underwent cable nerve grafting, and one patient had grade 2 recovery after end-to-end anastomosis. A good anatomical knowledge and experience with temporal bone dissection is of great importance in preventing facial nerve injury. If facial nerve injury is detected, it should be managed as early as possible. An end-to-end anastomosis provides better results in final recovery as opposed to cable nerve grafting for facial nerve repair.

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